Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Critical Review of the Literature: Crisis interventions for patients with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder; 2) Service Improvement Project: An exploration of the provision of support to secondary school staff around students' mental health; 3) Main Research Project: Gender minority stress in trans and gender diverse adolescents and young people.

  • Jessica Hunter

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Background: This study examines the relationship between gender minority stress, the specific social stressors such as discrimination and stigma that gender minorities are subject to, and psychological wellbeing in trans and gender diverse (TGD) adolescents and young people (YP). Method: We used a cross-sectional design to test hypotheses about the impact of gender minority stress on adolescents and YP identifying as TGD to see whether it explained the relationship between gender identity and psychological wellbeing when gender dysphoria, sexuality, and age are controlled for. While this allows us to establish whether there is an association between variables it is important to note that causality cannot be determined using this design. We measured anxiety, depression, general psychological wellbeing, gender dysphoria, gender minority stress (distal and proximal), resilience and heteronormative beliefs in a sample of cisgender (n= 135) and TGD (n= 106) participants. Results: We found that TGD participants had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression, and poorer general wellbeing, than cisgender participants. When entered simultaneously into the regression model, proximal minority stress and sex had stronger associations with depression than gender dysphoria, and distal stress and sex had stronger associations with anxiety than gender dysphoria in TGD participants. Resilience and sex had a significant association with general wellbeing over and above that of gender dysphoria when these factors were entered simultaneously into the model. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that minority stressors and sex have a stronger association with anxiety and depression in TGD adolescents and young people than gender dysphoria, although the direction of this relationship cannot be determined due to the constraints of the study design. Meanwhile, resilience and sex are associated with better psychological wellbeing. Both pathways to supporting wellbeing and reducing psychological distress in TGD youth should be considered by services and the wider community.
Date of Award8 Sept 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorCatherine Butler (Supervisor), Kate Cooper (Supervisor), Maria Loades (Supervisor), Josie Millar (Supervisor), Chloe Constable (Supervisor), Emma Griffith (Supervisor), Gemma Taylor (Supervisor), Louise Ross (Supervisor) & Beth Perry (Supervisor)

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